Seat Tracking!

With the recent findings that extended sitting time leads to increased mortality( I’m interested in finding a some kind of a wifi device to detect motion, and then set off an alarm based on certain conditions. The idea would be to put the sensor on my seat. When I’m sitting, it would detect some low grade motion as I sit in my chair and do work. Once it detects this kind of motion for over 30 minutes, some kind of alarm would sound, as a reminder to me to get up an move around instead of sitting on my butt all day.

Any one have an idea of a gadget that could be used for this?

A device is not needed for every problem. I suggest the Pomodoro Technique. It is a time management method that involves blocks of work with short breaks in between. During those breaks, one can simply get up and walk around, or even do some calisthenics if in an appropriate environment. There is an ebook behind the technique that you can find on Google, and their are plenty of web apps, phone apps, and desktop software based on the method, some with QS-style tracking and visualization methods.

Thanks, Robert! A good point. I’m definitely attracted to the technical solution.

I remember a product I thought was called Goose or something that allowed you to monitor anything. One of their suggested uses was attaching it to a toothbrush to make sure you brushed your teeth everyday. Does anyone remember the name of that product?

You’re probably thinking of “Green Goose”. There was a guy at the 2011 QS Conference who hyped it, but I never heard more about it and don’t think it really happened.

I don’t know of an integrated solution that does what you want. However, if you’re up for some hacking, my husband found an interesting candidate sensor: the Texas Instruments CC2541 SensorTag ( It has accelerometers and broadcasts over a BlueTooth LE protocol. He bought 5 from Digikey but hasn’t done anything with it yet.

Green Goose was a really interesting solution, produced by Brian Krejcarek, that used low frequency, low power transmission to give long battery life to sensors that could go anywhere, communicating to a proprietary base station. I haven’t heard from Brian recently and I’m not sure what’s happening with Green Goose. I emailed him to ask.

Green Goose pivoted more than a year ago from the exciting sticker-sensor product to a kids toy product. Sad to see them go.

Maybe the LUMOback folks could integrate these feature in their posture sensor.

The BASIS wristband does extract this data and gives you feedback about your ‘longest idle’ periods which I’ve found quite useful. There is no way to give direct feedback whenever you’re above a threshold though. The watch COULD do that easily, but yeah well… That’s why I hate crippled hardware.
However, having a feedback channel about how successful you were might help immensely if you’re trying to build a habit, even without a constant reminder. So, you can definitely try the Basis band for this purpose. The following image is a random week of my data:

Well if you’re a bit algorithmically inclined, you could use the TrueSense kit. The truesense kit can use wireless link to transfer real time motion data (3D accelerometer) to your computer. If you place the sensor on your upper leg, you can distinguish sitting from standing easily by assessing the orientation of the sensor. You wouldn’t even need to analyse the movements: Whenever the sensor is tilted by 90 degree, you know that you’re lying or sitting.

You could write a simple piece of software that prompts you to take a walk whenever you’ve sat more then 30 minutes continuously.
If you talk to the inventor, FuChieh, I’m sure he’ll be happy to help you out!